By Sean Highkin
It wasn’t easy — Chris Paul struggled, and Jimmy Butler had an opportunity to tie it in the closing seconds, But the Rockets escaped with a 104-101 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves to take a 1-0 series lead in the first round of the playoffs. How did they do it? By relying on James Harden, who looked every bit the MVP frontrunner with a 44-point, eight-assist performance and a dominant performance down the stretch to stave off a Minnesota run.
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